****Official Sneaker Review Terms Sticky Please*****

Dec 9, 2005
I thought we can have a sticky of all the sneaker terms you can think of. I can then update when more are added. I think than people can be more specific with their reviews. Here are a few I can think of.

Ankle Support: How well the sneaker protects your ankle from rolling/sliding throughout game play.

Durability: How well a sneaker holds up during playing.

I will add more later. Just thought we should have this in the Sneaker Review forum. Please sticky this, and hopefully we can get a large glossary.
Fit: If the sneaker runs true to size, half size short, half size big, etc. Also if the sneaker runs narrow or wide.

Ventilation: The ability of the sneaker to allow air flow through the sneaker. A sneaker with good ventilation will keep your feet from sweating.

Outsole: Anything that touches the ground.

In-sole: The portion of the sneaker that contacts the foot.

Midsole: Anything in between Outsole and In-sole.

I'll name some more later. Just wanted to keep this thread going.

*I took those from Zappos.com, they aren't very detailed...I'm going to post more based off my own knowledge.
Good Idea, this should definitely be stickied imo. I know I had a hard time figuring out what all of the terms meant until I ran into Prof. K's stuff. Thank the lowd for that man's reviews.

I'd like to add to the above.

Durability to me is how well the shoe holds up over an extensive period of time - with a good amount of playing. Jordan XII's are known for being durable, 2K5's (at least outdoors) are not.

I don't think Outsole can be defined as anything that touches the ground, it's nitpicking but parts of the outsole don't touch the ground - especially in shoes with arches like the Air Zoom Drive. I would just call it the bottom of the shoe.

Comfort from my perspective has a lot more involved than just cushioning.

Cushioning should be a category by itself. Here's my take:

Comfort: Overall comfortableness of the shoe. How smooth and seamless the inner feels, any chafing, scratching, pinching, rubbing, etc. For example, XIX SE with the patent toe box pinches down on your toes, bringing the overall comfort down. LBII's have a padded inner and toebox, making it very comfortable.

Traction: Ability of shoe to grip playing surface. Keeping in mind some surfaces are clean and some are dirty. Indoors and outdoors too.

Fit: Fit to me is how well the shoe prevents unnecessary movement inside the shoe. Ultraflights have an excellent, snug fit. They allow pretty much no movement or slip at all, allowing for efficient footstrike. T-Mac III's allow for some heel slip so I think fit is somewhat poor. How a shoe fits or runs is always up to the wearer. When I say fit is great, I mean it doesn't leave room for slippage.

Insole: I would also say the insole is the removable sockliner in the shoe. A lot of the shoe comes into contact with the foot, but not all of it is the insole. Insole = sockliner.

Midsole: The midsole from my understanding is the molded part which lies between the outsole and the upper. I think it's purpose is to support and keep the foot in place. Feel free to add anything.

Cushioning: How well the shoe absorbs and softens impacts from running and jumping. This is wide open, cushioning means so many things to different people. When I think about cushioning, I think about 2K3's and LBII's - both have great, soft Zoom Air which feels wonderful to run on.

Responsiveness: Related to cushioning, how well the cushioning responds - is it bouncy and springy or soft and mushy?

Stability and Dynamic Stability: Is the shoe balanced and sturdy? Some shoes have excellent stability and won't seem to ever roll over. 2K5's are an example although I've seen people roll ankles in them. D. stability - how does it perform while in movement? Ultraflights are a bit high off the ground so in certain movement situations, i.e. driving, it can feel a bit unsafe. Zoom Turbines on the other hand are low to the ground and have excellent dynamic stability.

Court Feel: How well can you gauge the court under your feet while wearing the shoes? Turbines have excellent court feel and are very low to the ground. You can really feel the movement of your feet against the court in certain shoes. Other shoes, such as the Answer IX are a bit high and negates good court feel.

Continuity: I kind of just made this up but it refers to the heel-strike to toe-off transition that occurs with every step. 2K5's have excellent continuity, almost seamless, so smooth. It makes taking a step seem so effortless.

Weight: Should be obvious, is the shoe heavy or light or in-between? Even though we're talking about mere ounces, it makes a noticeable difference. 2K4's are only a few ounces lighter than Answer IX's, but the difference is very apparent.

Lateral Outrigger: Molded piece of the outsole which juts out at the lateral side of the forefoot (as in the case of the Converse Wade, Jordan XIX) or the medial side of the rearfoot (XIX SE). Helps to support and provide stability for sharp movements such as cuts or explosive steps.

I'll try to add stuff about brand name tech. such as Nike Air - Zoom, Max, regular and Adidas A3 later. Great post.
Bumping this...I sent a PM to holdenmichael to try to get this sticky. I think it would serve this forum well...

Here are a few technology definitions:

(will be renamed to Formotion with the release of TMac VI): Ground Control System adapts to the ground for improved handling and stability during high-speed maneuvering

[/u] The a3 Energy Management System is a comprehensive midsole cushioning and control system. From initial impact through toe-off, every phase of the foot strike is addressed through specific materials, geometry and level of firmness.

is a system combining moisture-managing materials and ventilation in key areas for efficient evaporation of sweat that helps regulate body temperature for improved efficiency and comfort. Every ClimaCool shoe is built with a fully-ventilated mesh upper and breathable sock liner to ensure maximum airflow.

High-performance athletic footwear must protect and support the foot while still allowing it to function in a natural manner. adidas TORSION SYSTEM stabilizes the foot, providing lightweight arch support while allowing the forefoot and rearfoot to move freely.
Sizes 8-12 of the adidas Crazy 8 in White/Carolina!! Email me at JKJAJA@aol.com.
For over 10 years, adidas has continually refined the cushioning properties and durability of adiPRENE to provide an exceptional impact-absorbing material for the heel. An adiPRENE insert provides both long-term cushioning and comfort.

Protection for your heel. Exclusive to adidas, adiPRENE is an elastic material which responds to the cushioning needs of your moving foot. adiPRENE absorbs impact forces, providing superior cushioning and protection.
Sizes 8-12 of the adidas Crazy 8 in White/Carolina!! Email me at JKJAJA@aol.com.
From www.nikebiz.com

Nike Air:
Durable. Versatile. Revolutionary. Nike Air was the first air technology developed at Nike, and it changed the way we think about cushioning: encapsulated air to cushion the footstrike in athletic shoes. It remains the standard in impact protection more than 20 years after its debut.

Max Air:
Maximum impact cushioning. The brutal, repetitive, downward force of sport can wreak havoc on the body - and on performance. Max Air cushioning is specifically engineered to handle these impacts and provide protection. Max Air is big air designed to take a pounding.

Zoom Air:
Lightweight, super-responsive performance cushioning. Incredibly thin, Zoom Air brings the foot closer to the ground, for optimum feel and aggressive maneuverability. Very light. Very responsive.

Nike Shox:
A revolution in cushioning and impact protection. Nike Shox technology provides an optimal environment for cushioning, a slower rate of impact loading (which helps reduce the risk of impact-related injuries) and a uniquely responsive feel. The highly resilient foam in Nike Shox columns is made of energy-efficient material that enhances durability and spring
Post count from banned screen names: 8084​
"Ground Control System(will be renamed to Formotion with the release of TMac VI): Ground Control System adapts to the ground for improved handling and stability during high-speed maneuvering"

it adapts to the ground? I hope they've changed that description because the ground (basketball court) is just a flat wooden surface. so there isnt any change too necessitate adaptation. does it adapt to dusty floors? I'm a fan of adidas but this sounds like marketing b.s.

Also, I don't think the shoe company's descriptions should constitute review terms. Deezy did a good job hitting most of the pertinent categories and details. In an ideal review, what nike tells us about zoom air, should not enter into the reviewer's assesment. It's useful info no doubt, but it's going to bias the reviewer if he's learning all that nike/adidas has to say about the shoe before he tries it out himself.

Just noticed TheBrandWith3Strip... has been a posting machine from the start of this thread to now and I'm curious, what is driving you? adidas? bored at work? ... not a call out, appreciate your posts, but wow, look out for carpal tunnel .
It's the TheBrandWith3Stripes...name got cut off. Nothing is driving me to post...just the fact I love sneakers.

40 days:400 posts: 10 a day (this is roughly)

I don't see what is really wrong with that.

I put tech in here just in case a NTer didn't know the purposes of certain tech. As for the adidas, I think it was how adidas phrased it which made it sound weird.

BTW here is a better explanation of the Formotion/GCS

FORMOTION is the world's first agility technology. It is the only
midsole system that enhances lateral cutting. It does this by
absorbing and controlling lateral forces. The pods act as independent suspension, much like a cars suspension, and allows athletes to cut and corner much faster. The sensation for the player is better court feel, better traction and better lateral movement. It also helps
prevent some inversion sprains.
Sizes 8-12 of the adidas Crazy 8 in White/Carolina!! Email me at JKJAJA@aol.com.

That formotion description is an improvement. The first one may have been translated from german without much thought..maybe one of those online translators :b

When kicksology was still alive and well, the one thing I hoped Prof K would do to improve his reviews, is devise a blind testing period... meaning he wouldnt know what shoes he was wearing. That way his opinion of the shoe would be taken purely from his experience wearing/balling in them. He's really the only reviewer who would have a chance at pulling it off. Oh well.

Some other terms that would be useful to have. I found this on a running site:

Blown rubber is a type of outsole common to many running shoes. Blown rubber is a rubber compound which is either expanded or mixed with air in the production process to produce a relatively light, cushier outsolealthough its less durable than carbon rubber. Many outsoles use a combination of blown rubber in the midfoot and forefoot (for a cushy ride) with carbon rubber in the rearfoot for added durability.

Carbon rubber is the other most common outsole. It is a solid rubber with carbon added to increase the durability of the outsole. A carbon rubber outsole is firmer and heavier than blown rubber, but more durable.

Cushioned (or neutral) shoes are the type of shoes with maximum midsole cushioning but without any added medial or rearfoot stability devices. Cushioned or neutral shoes (the terms are synonymous) are preferred by runners who dont have abnormal rearfoot motion (overpronation).

EVA is the acronym for ethylene vinyl acetate which is the most common commercially manufactured midsole foam used in running shoes. It is most often referred to as CMEVA or compression-molded EVA.

Flex grooves are an important feature. They are notches (or grooves) sliced into the outsole in the forefoot for better flexibility at toe-off. Almost all high-quality running shoes use flex grooves that allow the foot to roll more naturally at toe-off.

Heel counter is a plastic cup built within the upper which cups the heel to reduce excessive rearfoot motion. The heel should fit snugly without being too tight. If its too wide, the heel will slip in and out of the shoe and cause blisters. Women in particular often have narrower heels than men and require a narrow heel, common in some brands such as Saucony.

Heel heights are the height at which the foot sits on top of the midsole and outsole. Heel heights vary from shoe to shoe and brand to brand but generally, a bigger, slower runner (especially a heel striker) wants more midsole foam for better cushioning which means a greater (or higher) heel height. Faster, efficient runners tend to strike more in the midfoot or even forefoot and usually prefer a lower heel height. A lower heel height promotes stability, but a higher heel height adds cushioning and takes some of the strain off the Achilles and calf muscles. Training shoes have the highest heel heights; racing shoes the lowest.

Last is a term you might hear in the shoe store and it is very confusing because it can refer to two entirely different things. The most important reference is to the shape of the shoe. A last is a shaped piece of wood or metal on which the shoe is actually built. Different shoes use different lasts (especially different brands) which is why shoes fit differently. Basically, there are three shapes: straight, semi-curved and curved. Semi-curved isby farthe most popular and most runners do well in a semi-curved lasted shoe. A straight-lasted shoe offers the most medial support but there are only a handful of shoes built on a straight last. A curved lasted shoe is rare for a training shoe, but most racing shoes are built on a curved last which is indicative of a highly responsive, fast shoe.

Last can also refer to how a shoe is lasted or how the upper is attached (sewn actually) to the midsole. There are three ways: combination-lasted, slip-lasted or board-lasted. A slip-lasted shoe is entirely stitched; a combination-lasted shoe is stitched in the forefoot and glued in the rearfoot with a fiberboard and a board-lasted shoe has a fiberboard glued on top of the midsole. Slip-lasting is the most common, although some brandsnotably Asicscombination-last many of their shoes. Some runners believe a combination-lasted shoe is the most stable and most supportive for orthotics but it is really personal preference. (Board-lasted shoes have gone the way of the dinosaur.) To determine which type of lasting the shoe has, remove the insole. If theres stitching in the rearfoot, its slip-lasted. If theres a fiberboard (a cardboard-like material) on top of the midsole and stitching in the forefoot, its combination-lasted. When in doubt, ask.

Lateral is in reference to the outer edge of a shoe or the side of the shoe opposite the arch.

Medial side is the opposite of the lateral side. Its the arch side (or inner) of the shoe. The medial side is the side of the shoe where most of the motion-control or stability devices are located.

Midsole post is also known as a medial post or two-density midsole. It refers to a firmer density of midsole material on the medial side which reduces overpronation. Almost all brands use a midsole post in at least some of their trainers.

Midsole is the light colored foam your foot rests upon which cushions the foot. The midsole is the most important part of the shoe because of its cushioning responsibilities. Midsoles are usually made of either EVA or polyurethane foam or a combination of the two. Midsoles are also the part of the shoe where the manufacturers use their proprietary cushioning or support technology such as Asics Gel, Adidas adiPRENE, Brooks HydroFlow, Nike Air, New Balance AbZORB, Mizuno Wave, Saucony GRID or Reebok DMX.

Motion-control is a type of shoe which is designed to reduce excessive inward foot motionoverpronation. Motion-control shoes are usually the most expensive, heaviest and protective shoes because they employ the most control and stability features.

Overpronators and many big, heavy runners do best in motion-control shoes.

Outsole is the black material on the bottom of the shoe which contacts the ground.

Post is an interchangeable term with a two-density midsole or midsole post.

Polyurethane is the second most common midsole material to EVA. Polyurethane is a heavier, denser material that is more resistant to compression set than EVA and more durable. But it is firmer. Few shoes are made with full polyurethane midsoles anymore, but some shoes have polyurethane inserts in the midsole for added durability.

Racing shoes are the lightest, most flexible type of running shoe. Some racing shoes are half the weight of typical training shoes, but offer much less in terms of cushioning, protection and durability. Generally, only runners racing at a 7-minute pace or faster and who are biomechanically efficient in their gait (i.e., they dont overpronate) should consider racing shoes.

Stability shoes are the most common type of training shoes. Stability shoes usually have a two-density midsole and a stable base of support to reduce overpronation. Some of the most popular (and best) shoes on the market are stability shoes.

Two-density midsole means the same as a midsole post or simply, a post. Its a second, firmer density of midsole material on the medial side which reduces overpronation. The second, firmer density is usually a darker material on the medial side just above the arch area.
Chris Chicago - you had a great point about the company's own desc. of their technology entering into what should be impartial reviews and terminology.

For me Zoom Air IS in reality super responsive and that agrees with Nike's description. But I wouldn't agree with a lot of their other stuff and of course, you're going to have obvious plugs and advertisements if a company is describing their own stuff.

I was wondering what happened to this post, little did I know it was stickied the entire time I was checking the Kicks Review section. I'm glad, I think you guys have been doing a great job here and I'm absolutely certain that people without knowledge of shoe technology and performance could benefit a lot from just going through this post. It prevents redundant questions from being asked because it provides the answers already.

And about the blind-testing idea, wow. I think it's a great idea, but I don't exactly know how it could be pulled off. Maybe put someone in an empty gym and give them some drills to run through? And some shoes, you just know what they are when you put them on, some have straps and easy/hard entry, etc. It would have to be shoes he's never worn before. I know for Kicksology there's actually a few reviewers and they put it through multiple wearings for at least 2-3 hours before coming to any conclusions. That system sounds pretty good to me.

I have more of a problem with the fact that they only have a few weight/height/game-type specimens, I mean we need people who are fast and quick, light or heavy, all different types to try out shoes I think. I don't think it's being too demanding (I'm not calling anyone out here) but I'm simply saying that it's not right for someone to drop $100+ on brand new shoes without ANY idea of how they might perform and then end up completely disappointed. I'm grateful we had Kicksology and Prof. K is still putting up stuff through a certain magazine.

And maybe we should add into the title that people should READ THIS if they have terminology or technology ?'s first, and then post in here if they don't see an answer.
Torison Stystem High-performance athletic footwear must protect and support the foot while still allowing it to function in a natural manner. adidas TORSION SYSTEM stabilizes the foot, providing lightweight arch support while allowing the forefoot and rearfoot to move freely.

is this the same as feet you wear?
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